I am an unabashed, unashamed total and complete homer for my Portland Trailblazers. I can admit it. But there is a lot of misinformation out there on what being a homer entails. Often times it can be confused with complete idiocy, which I am here to tell you is a gross misrepresentation of the homer position. What follows are some simple axioms with which the casual observer can tell the difference. Notice that these are axioms and not rules. What’s the difference? Actually, when I looked these words up in the thesaurus, there didn’t seem to be much of a difference. Perhaps they are closer to apophthegms. I like that word. Apophthegm. Anyways, what I was trying to say is that these are generalities which I find true of myself, and that not every homer is identical.
I love every player on the team. There are a lot of reasons to love players, but as a homer, the simple fact that they are on my team is reason enough for me. They don’t have to be the best people or the best players. I will still love them. They are part of the family. I may not always like my kid brother, but I still love him, as a brother should. Even during those teenage years, when the Portland Teams were angsty, melancholy and aloof, even when they pushed me away to the point where I stopped watching the games, I still never wanted anything bad to happen to any of them, and always cheered them on when they moved elsewhere – even Bonzi Wells and Ruben Patterson.
Because of the First Apophthegm, I always look at the positives which any particular player brings to the floor. Each player brings something important to the game, otherwise they wouldn’t be in the NBA. Any particular night, any particular player could be the one person who wins the game for the team. I prefer to take an optimistic approach to our players. Of course each player has their weaknesses. Of course they can be particularly frustrating when exploited by the opposing team. I’m not blind to them. I acknowledge that Outlaw never saw a shot he didn’t like. I acknowledge that Przybilla couldn’t catch a beach ball. But every player has a deficiency somewhere. Dwelling on them doesn’t make me enjoy the game any more.
Because of the First Apophthegm, I never want to see any player traded. Now this is not the same as saying that I wish that Portland never made any trades. Because of trades, we have been able to do some wonderful things. I have no problem at all with a trade happening. However, I am always sad to see a player leave our team and play for someone else. This is why all the posts that call for us to trade whoever is in the fans doghouse that week drive me nuts. On top of that, many of those posts only ask us to trade someone away, with little though about whom to get in return. Addition by subtraction hardly ever works. Just because it did once for us does not make it the new standard.
I believe we have a chance to win any game we play. No matter who is on the floor, the possibility always exists for something amazing to happen. Sure, I only saw one team ever come back from a ten point deficit in the last minute of a game to win it, and unfortunately is was Boston against us in the late 80’s or early 90’s, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t happen again. So is this an inconsistency? Refusing to use one negative instance to set the norm (see “addition by subtraction” above), but always placing hope for a positive one (namely, an impossible comeback)? Perhaps. But as a homer, I have my inconsistencies. But all serve to fuel unbridled optimism.
So if optimism is the key to being a homer, why have I consistently held the opinion that the Blazers will win 45 games this year? How is that optimistic? If I were to hold the opinion that the Blazers were going to win 60 games this year, and they didn’t, I would consider the season disappointing, because my expectations were not met. Instead, I asked myself at what point would I consider the Blazers to have a successful season? The answer was 45 wins. I would, of course, love more than that, and less than that would not reach their goal. So 45 it is. Inconsistent? See above.
And finally, because I think off the wall polls are fun, despite the opinions of some...